Hampden County DA: Massachusetts troopers acted 'lawfully' in shooting death of William Tisdol
The Hampden County District Attorney's Office has concluded its investigation into the shooting death of a Connecticut man outside of MGM Springfield in February.
In a press conference Friday District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said Massachusetts state troopers "acted in the lawful exercise of their duties and used only necessary and reasonable force in both self defense and defense of others."
He concluded the shooting death of William Tisdol, on Feb. 25, was lawful after troopers first attempted to subdue him without weapons, then warned him that he would be tased.
"A Taser deployment would have been an objectively reasonable use of non-lethal force, given the escalating danger and... the act of Mr. Tisdol, pointing a firearm [at at trooper] constitutes a felony offense of assault with a dangerous weapon under Massachusetts law," Gulluni said.
He went on to describe how Tisdol kept his hand in his right pocket as he fled police and shot at them after the Taser warning. The entire sequence of events was captured on police body cameras.
Tisdol was first captured on MGM Springfield cameras inside the casino where he had an altercation with another patron. That person later told police Tisdol said he had a gun and threatened to shoot him.
As he was confronted by MGM security and the gaming enforcement unit made up of state troopers and Springfield police officers, Tisdol exited the casino and began to flee police.
Gulluni said the findings of the investigation — with the complete video showing Tisdol shooting at and then being shot at by police — will be available to the public.
In the footage a trooper repeatedly warns Tisdol that he will be tased if he does not stop running. After the shooting Tisdol can be seen lying on the ground and heard saying "I'm dead. You got me....I'm dying."
Gulluni said he believes Tisdol fled because he was carrying a weapon and there was a warrant for his arrest related to firearm charges in New York.
"I do know that he had significant interactions with law enforcement over the course of his adult life...In a few states," Gulluni said.
He said Tisdol's family —including his mother, who recently demanded to see the footage of the shooting — were informed of his decision Friday morning and were shown the body camera footage.
"I wanted to give them the courtesy of showing them this evidence, the video, and let them know of my decision and hear it from me directly before it was made public.... I have provided them with all of the evidence," he said.